9 Symptoms of an Unclear Corporate Strategy

A man stands on a clear yellow line above a confusing mix of white paths going nowhere

Strategic clarity matters. If you don’t know where you want to go, how on earth can you get there?

It’s astounding how many leaders miss the most important aspect of creating a sound corporate strategy…cascading it clearly throughout the organization so that each employee truly understands their role, and the roles of those around them, in achieving the critical few things that matter most.

It is also surprising to us that so many organizations miss the clues that could warn them that they are off track in terms of strategic clarity.

Take a quick look at this list of symptoms of an unclear strategy and see if your business plan for success is at risk:

  1. Not enough stakeholders believe the strategy is implementable.
    Employees don’t believe changes that are discussed will actually be implemented in the current organizational culture. Too many plans have been hashed out in meetings but never executed. This is often a sign of a lack of strong leadership and a lack of accountability down the line. Beware if less than 75% of the population believes that the strategy is clear, believable and implementable enough.
  2. Substandard performers are kept on beyond a reasonable time to help them improve.
    The consequence of allowing underperformers to remain on the team for too long is not only a loss of productivity from the low performers but also a loss of motivation by those who observe the lack of consequences for not performing up to par. A low performance bar affects everyone. Beware if low performers remain on the team for too long.
  3. The company fails to hit important targets on a regular basis.
    Something is seriously wrong if important milestones are routinely missed. Either the goals were not realistic, they were miscommunicated or there were no clear consequences for failure to reach them. Beware if targets routinely slip.
  4. Goals, roles and success metrics are unclear or conflicting.
    If employees are uncertain about what, specifically, they are responsible to accomplish and where they fit in the overall plan, performance and employee engagement suffers. Do not let employees be confused about their job and their role in the context of strategic imperatives. Beware if people do not know how their success is measured and what they can count on from others.
  5. Time is wasted.
    Employees are occupied but too often in the wrong direction. They are busy but not focused on activities that drive business success and translate into what target customers want and need. They fill out reports that go nowhere, attend meetings that lack meaningful agendas and do not result in action, over-think decisions, spend time hunting down information that should have been shared, etc. Beware if the majority of time is not spent on executing strategic priorities.
  6. A lack of customer focus.
    Products and services are enhanced with extras that do not really benefit target customers…instead they only drain profits and confuse service offerings. The picture of the target customer is fuzzy or not agreed to by all key stakeholders. Beware if your customers are not at the heart of what you are doing.
  7. Decision making is not aligned.
    Decisions are not made according to strategic priorities. Instead initiatives are driven by the quick, the easy, the political or the way it’s always been done. Beware of a lack of strategic decisiveness and consistency.
  8. Organizational health and employee engagement is suffering.
    Employees are over-worked and under-satisfied. They have no hope of a better work-life balance or of taking advantage of any career development opportunities. Beware if employee advocacy, discretionary effort or retention falters.
  9. Minimal accountability and finger pointing.
    “Passing the buck” is rampant throughout the organization. Few are willing to take responsibility for missteps. Beware of ambiguity in terms of responsibility, accountability and performance metrics.

Are any of these traits familiar? If so, your organization is most likely suffering from a lack of strategic clarity. The time spent correcting the above problems will serve you well. It is far easier to operate successfully when everyone understands where the company is going and how it is going to get there.

Designing your corporate strategy is only the first step. You must ensure the strategy is clearly cascaded throughout the organization so that every employee gets it, believes it can be achieved, and is fully engaged in the process.

To learn more, download How Strategic Clarity Distinguishes High Performing Leaders – The Elite 6%

Comments are closed.

Congratulations on your pro-activity in establishing this program and developing such an effective New Employee Orientation course.

Farhat Ali
President and Chief Executive Office

Fujitsu

We recently contacted LSA Global to assist us with a unique training request. We gave LSA a very short deadline and LSA custom designed a training program to meet our exact requirements within the limited time allotted to them. We found their facilitator to be well versed in the subject matter and very credible; the design provided practical and valuable information to our team of managers. I highly recommend LSA Global, particularly in the area of management training.

Julaine K. Souza
Senior Vice President

LSA has been a tremendous asset to my portfolio, both at my current company and my past company. As an HR leader, I am always looking for ways to find external resources that can provide a solution to our management training needs. LSA does that for me. Their solutions are presented in a much more leadership-oriented manner so as to be crisp, business relevant, and easy to apply right back on the job. I will continue to augment our programs using LSA solutions.

Ken Boehm
VP of Human Resources

Hyperion has a commitment to lifelong learning. LSA helps us provide the right business sales training, management training programs, and leadership development programs at the right time to meet the needs of both individuals and departments. I especially appreciate their ability to listen to my needs and recommend the appropriate facilitators, solutions and content.

Sarah Parks
Senior Project Manager

Hyperion

Over the years, both at 3Com and now at Redback, I’ve found LSA Global to be a valuable resource. The recent compliance program that they delivered for Redback’s executive and management team was the right solution, of the highest of quality, and customized to our business and culture. I would highly recommend LSA to any company looking for top quality solutions.

Gina Fulton
Vice President of Human Resources

LSA’s Employee Engagement Consulting and Survey work has provided critical visibility into: how well our people are holding up under the general economic environment, as well as, the specific challenges that face biotechnology companies in their efforts to discover and develop new medicines; their level of alignment and commitment to XOMA’s Vision and mission critical strategies; how leadership practices and management systems support an environment that engender commitment, and the specific actions that our leaders can take to improve on areas that are important to our people. I highly recommend LSA’s employee engagement solutions.

Chris Wells
Vice President, HR and IT

We partnered with LSA Global to help us invest in our people in the areas of performance coaching, diversity, and inclusion. They focused on helping us succeed and were very flexible in meeting our specific needs. LSA Global exceeded my expectations from a speed, quality, and value standpoint. I would recommend LSA Global to anyone looking for a true business partner.

Anita Luckinbill
Director, Human Resources

PalmSource has found our relationship with LSA extremely beneficial. We worked closely with LSA to customize the right Management Training Program solution to meet our unique business needs. LSA is a quality organization, one that I’d recommend to any company looking for a first class training and consulting partner.

Ken Boehm
Vice President of Human Resources

Understanding and conforming to legal compliance was very important to our company. We turned to LSA Global to provide a quality and cost effective way to ensure that we were AB 1825 compliant. Their interactive eLearning program was top-notch. It allowed our managers to learn at their own pace, and on their own time. The program was tailored to include our logo and our internal harassment policies. It was interactive and met all federal and state legal requirements. I would highly recommend LSA Global to any company looking for an efficient and effective and top quality way to train their managers to be in compliance.

Kelly Warren, SPHR
Director, HR & Compliance

The refreshing thing about LSA is that they focus on understanding our business situation and helping me succeed instead of selling a product. With over 150 experts, they are an invaluable resource that helps me deliver higher quality results faster. I recommend them to anyone looking to improve the performance of their workforce.

Stacie Rodgers
VP of Human Resources

Cutera

In my years working with LSA, it seems like I’ve had a personal consultant at my fingertips to help me identify just the right solution to satisfy our needs. The entire LSA team has become a trusted friend of Actel — assuring we provide state-of-the-art learning to meet our complex, high-tech business and people needs.

Linda Mitchell
Training Manager

Avon’s success is dependent on strong relationships among our Customers, Representatives, Associates, and outside resources we hire to help us meet our business objectives. We were very pleased with the results from working with LSA Global to design and facilitate a custom program for our events management team. LSA demonstrated responsiveness, flexibility, and an innovative approach to working with us.

Deanna Rudnitsky
Senior Manager, HR Destiny Sales Region

We value our relationship with LSA Global. We came to LSA because we wanted to improve overall behavioral based interviewing capabilities of our managers to increase the probability of both hiring top talent and future leaders. LSA designed a highly customized solution for our business and culture. We are currently rolling out this solution to our leaders. I would highly recommend LSA Global as a top quality resource.

Rae Phillips
HR Project Manager - Training & Development, PHR

I have worked with other training companies and found it to be more of a seller/buyer relationship than one of matching the right expertise to our business issues. That’s what LSA does – ask the hard questions, listen, and understand our business needs. We receive the benefit of their expertise from assistance with personal development plans to enhancing team performance, to looking at enterprise-wide challenges. It’s all about helping our business succeed as we grow. Right now, LSA is providing great ideas, a fresh approach, and valuable guidance as we develop our management team and accelerate our client relationship management results.

Kristin Westland-Kaune
Director, Team Development

We engaged LSA to design and deliver a 6-month custom executive coaching program for a group of our key leaders. The focus of the program was to help a core group of senior leaders to leverage previous investments in management training, to ensure the engagement and retention of key employees, and to push critical strategic initiatives forward. Even with the high expectations of our senior people, LSA has completely exceeded our expectations. I would recommend them to anyone looking to create and implement a custom coaching methodology using proven tools to drive true change.

Ivan Fukumoto
Senior HR Manager - Staffing, Training, & Development

Evaluate your Performance

Toolkits

Toolkits

Download key published insights and tools from industry experts highlighting best practices in the areas of talent, strategy and culture.

More

Health Checks

Health Checks

Want to know how you stack up against leading organizations?  Receive a complimentary benchmarking analysis courtesy of an LSA Expert.

More

Whitepapers

Whitepapers

Get up to speed on timely solutions critical to your business. Published by LSA Experts based upon client feedback and key industry trends.

More

Methodology

Methodologies

First we identify the key metrics you want to improve. Then we assemble a dedicated team of elite experts who have successfully solved similar problems with similar clients.

More

Blogs

Stay up to do date with the latest information on how we help high growth companies align their culture and talent with strategy.

More

Case Studies

Client Case Studies

Real world consulting and training approaches from LSA projects, providing insights on how your company can outperform the competition.

More